Murrayfield Racers boss Tony Hand targeting two big wins in title race

Murrayfield Racers face Dundee Comets and Kirkcaldy Kestrels this weekend. Pic: Ian Coyle
Murrayfield Racers face Dundee Comets and Kirkcaldy Kestrels this weekend. Pic: Ian Coyle
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Murrayfield Racers director of hockey Tony Hand admits his side will be in a “fantastic position” to lift the Scottish National League title if they can get the better of current champions and pacesetters Dundee Comets on Tayside on Saturday – then second-placed Kirkcaldy Kestrels at Murrayfield on Sunday (face-off 6pm).

Racers currently sit third in the table on 17 points, two behind Dundee and Kirkcaldy but have games in hand over both clubs.

Hand said: “It’s two huge games. Comets won all the competitions last year. We haven’t played them for a couple of months but they are a very strong team and we expect a really tough game up there.

“Our objective is to go and win it, but we’ve also got a really good goal difference against them so we need to play a smart game, be really sharp defensively and limit their chances.

“Just as important is our game against Kirkcaldy, who are also in with a shout of winning the league.

“We drew with them in Kirkcaldy so if they beat us on Sunday then they would be in a better position if things were tied at the end of the season.

“The boys are up for this, and we’re looking to have a really strong weekend.

“If we manage to do that we’ll put ourselves in a fantastic position (to win the league title). Otherwise, it’s going to be a dogfight right to the end.”

Racers, unbeaten in all SNL competitions this season, did not play last weekend, and Hand is concerned momentum picked up following good recent performances in a 4-1 win over Sheffield Steeldogs in the NIHL North Cup and a 6-0 win over Kirkcaldy in the Scottish cup, could be lost.

Hand continued: “I would rather have played to be honest, and keep our momentum going. There’s a danger we might lose a bit of that with the week off. Saying that, we had a couple of guys who have had extra time to recover from knocks and we’ve had two tough practices this week to try and keep us in game shape.”